Maintenance of Certification: A Trusted Credential for Doctors
Board certification sets the standard for skills and experience in the field of medicine. Completing initial certification inspires trust: your patients feel more confident when their doctor has this credential. Maintaining your certification offers you an opportunity for professional development and lifelong learning, so that you can continually evaluate and improve your practice of medicine.
However, maintenance of certification is a major source of anxiety for many physicians. We’ve compiled some great resources to help you better understand and navigate all aspects of this process.
How the Maintenance of Certification Process Has Changed
In 2000, the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) began transforming their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs. Their goal was to implement a model for continuous professional development that would demonstrate to their peers and the public a commitment to lifelong learning and to staying current with medical knowledge.
Physicians who want to be recognized as maintaining their certification must meet various MOC requirements over a 10-year period. Maintenance of Certification is not mandatory; you can choose not to participate and still maintain your state medical license to practice. However, there are compelling reasons to take part, as we’ve outlined below.
Why Participate in MOC?
Maintaining & Expanding Your Clinical Knowledge
Do you have the right information top of mind to make the best possible decisions for your patients? By fulfilling MOC requirements, you enhance your clinical judgment and skills that are essential for practicing safely and competently. You also assess your aptitude in topics relevant to your practice and refresh your knowledge where necessary. If you make the commitment — and use the right learning tools — the MOC process will make you a more competent, confident physician.
Doctors share a responsibility to uphold the high standards of the medical profession. Maintenance of Certification helps. Board certification signifies mastery of relevant medical knowledge and the ability to provide superb patient care. It’s a seal of approval that assures fellow clinicians as well as hospitals, insurers, Medicare, health plans, and patients of a doctor’s excellence. And that’s a good thing for all practicing physicians.
Other Reasons to Participate
- Maintaining board certification may lower your malpractice premium.
- Many hospitals, insurers, and health plans are starting to make MOC a requirement for their doctors.
- Efforts are under way to make participation more efficient by aligning MOC with other physician-reporting requirements.
Further Information on Maintenance of Certification
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